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Indoor pool construction not likely until 2017

Mitchell Mayor Jerry Toomey admits he jumped the gun on the design timeline for Mitchell's new competition pool. Toomey organized a design committee to start meeting this month to discuss the city's options for the recently approved $8 million aq...

Mitchell Mayor Jerry Toomey admits he jumped the gun on the design timeline for Mitchell’s new competition pool.

Toomey organized a design committee to start meeting this month to discuss the city’s options for the recently approved $8 million aquatics facility to be built in the city. But Toomey said his ambitions to get the project underway may have been a bit ambitious.

After speaking with Public Works Director Tim McGannon, Toomey told The Daily Republic his plans to meet with a 12-person building design committee will likely be delayed.

On Thursday, McGannon said the city needs to hire an architect before committee meetings and public input sessions can be held. McGannon said it could take about two months to choose an architect, but cautioned his estimate could be optimistic. In total, it could take a year to 16 months before the city completes all the preliminary steps needed before hiring a general contractor to begin construction.

By McGannon’s estimate, it’s likely construction on the project first approved by the City Council in 2014 and referred to public vote a year later won’t be underway until early 2017.

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The next step for the $8.085 million project, which will feature a 1,200-square foot leisure pool and a 75-foot by 82-foot competitive lap pool, is to draw up a request for qualifications to allow interested architects and engineers an opportunity to work on the project. McGannon said about 15 firms are interested in the work.

Once the architect is hired, McGannon said committee meetings and two or three public input sessions will be held.

“The architect is going to have the best idea of how to incorporate the public’s ideas,” McGannon said about the need to hire an architect before public input sessions.

After the public weighs in on the project approved by 54 percent of Mitchell voters, McGannon said it will likely take the architect a minimum of eight months to draw up what he called a “very intense set of plans” that could exceed 30 to 50 pages in length.

Toomey was disappointed to hear about the lengthy process due to the potential cost increases due to inflation, which could limit what the city could include in the project.

“We’ve got to make that $8,085,000 work, and delaying it just adds to the costs,” Toomey said. “But in the same token, you’ve got to make sure when you do it, you do it right.”

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